We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Snorkeling, Dolphin Watching, Shelling, Hiking, Swimming and SunBathing”

Island Boat Adventures
Ranked #2 of 79 Tours in St. Petersburg
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: We offer daily excursions to Egmont Key Island. Egmont Key is a magnificent island just a few miles off shore at the mouth of Tampa Bay, in the lovely Gulf of Mexico. Accessible only by boat. Egmont Key is the GEM of the Bay Area and a Florida State Park. It is not to be missed on your vacation. Egmont Key's history dates back to the 1800's during the Spanish / American War era. Call and book your trip today for a truly memorable vacation experience and a fantastic day of Adventure and Excitement you will not soon forget. Just a few of the sights you may experience on your journey are pods of wild Bottlenosed Dolphins playing in their natural habitat, or a huge manatee gracefully swimming along side of the boat, stingrays, rolling Tarpon, numerous native birds, Gopher Tortoises, the Egmont Key Lighthouse, the soldier cemetary, and the ruins of old Fort Dade. It is our goal to provide a fun, affordable, memorable vacation experience in a safe environment that the whole family can enjoy. Call today for reservations.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Baby buggy parking, Wheelchair access
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Snorkeling, Dolphin Watching, Shelling, Hiking, Swimming and SunBathing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2014

Island Boat Adventures ( Calypso Cat ) located in St. Petersburg, Fl provided us with the most outstanding adventure from start to finish. The first thing I have to say is we were super lucky not to choose one of the fast talking competitors. I'll explain why in a bit.

The Calypso Cat crew is a family owned business. Our captain and first mate of the day were father and son. Their team work was amazing. Not one bit of tension between them. They both knew exactly what to do to make every moment of our trip pleasant. Even when booking our trip, Betty (the mom) was super. She answered all my questions and never tried to close me the way one competitor did. She was polite and didn't rush me. The other company was more interested in getting my credit card number then answering my questions. That guy even went as far as to tell me he was the only boat going to the island equipped with a bathroom. Not true!

The Calypso Cat has a bathroom on board AND an awesome shower with fresh water. BTW, the water pressure from the shower was great. When booking our reservation, Betty told me to bring a lunch and any beverages we wanted. She said they would be happy to store my food and drink in their coolers. Families will find this to be a great benefit because you know how much money you save when you can bring your food and drink. My husband and I picked up subway sandwiches and bottled water. I'm sure they had some snacks to purchase and certainly had bottled water for a buck a piece (reasonable! Right)

When it came time for snorkeling, our captain knew exactly where to anchor. Our group had the best access to the ruins and we weren't stuck in a current. The equipment was clean, everyone was fitted perfectly and the equipment was in perfect working order. We had plenty of time to snorkel before we were taken to Egmont Key.

Our captain explained the behavior of dolphins. The dolphins are so smart that they know which boats to play around and which boats to stay away from. The dolphins liked the Calypso Cat because it had no history off harassing them. My take on the info is some boat captains try too hard to provide the customers with the opportunity to see the dolphins and chase them down. The dolphins don't want to be chased when they're working for food. Our captain must be honest because the dolphins did everything he said they would do. He said on the way out "the dolphins you see right now are feeding" and he explained how they were working together. He said on the way back after their bellies were full they would be more playful and they were. We even had one come right up to the side of our boat and swim with us.

On the island, I went hiking to the old fort. I met some scientist conduction water samples. The rangers were friendly and stopped to talk to us. While swimming I saw sea slugs... Cute and yucky and the same time. Someone found a huge conch shell with a living creature in it. Again, our captain located us in an ideal place to see all the island had to offer.

And now for a major unbelievable practice... The other boats had to use ladders like you would use at home to climb up and down to get to your roof. As I watched the other boat passengers try to maneuver themselves down that ladder, I realized we really did pick the best boat. Those people struggled to wrap their leg on the ladder and swing themselves to the proper position. I thought they had to be athletic. Our ladder on the Cat was normal. It was attached to the front of the boat. It drop straight down to the land. Easy peasy.

And finally, the captain on the Calypso Cat is really interested in providing a safe day. The Cat was not going out on the day we really wanted because of the weather. The other boats did. The only reason we weren't on those other boats was because they already left before we decided we wanted to go snorkeling. We know it was risky for those boats on the water because we watched the lightening and storms from Desoto park. It would have been very difficult for them to get around the storms we could see from land. The day we went out actually had a 60% chance of rain. It was crazy because the day before was only 30%. Yet the Calypso Cat captain was able to read the radar like a professional. It rained that day... Just not on us or anywhere near us but I have pictures of the storms away from us.

It was pure luck we got on the Calypso Cat, but I think there was a little devine intervention involved. I hope this review helps you because you might not be so lucky if you pick on your own.

Visited July 2014
8 Thank Renee O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

853 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Captain Hans and Vinny were great!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2014

This was an awesome boat ride. Captain Hans and Vinny were very knowledgable about the island. We had so much fun exploring the island. We are back home in PA now, but if we visit St Pete again, we will definately take this trip again!

Visited June 2014
2 Thank Tstarpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bluefield, West Virginia
Level Contributor
81 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Must do!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2014

We came across this adventure when I looked at tripadvisor for things to do. I'm so glad that we decided to do this. It was so much fun. It was the first time my family had ever been snorkeling. The weather was perfect. The captain and first mate were very friendly and knowledgeable. Exploring the island was very interesting. The boat ride to the island was great, we got to see dolphins skip across the waves. If you are in this area for vacation, this is the #1 thing you must do!!

Visited July 2014
2 Thank AleciaLester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Island Boat Adventures -great trip!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2014

A great afternoon of snorkeling, looking for dolphins. Out to Egmont Key for more snorkeling and shelling. Captain Hans is very knowledgable about the area. Love this trip.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank Rdonson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Price Friendly”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2014

Had two adults and three kids (one thirteen years old) and we were able to rock and roll a four hour excursion which included the following:

1. Riding on a boat seeing dolphins and manatees
2. Snorkel over ruins next to an island with a cool lighthouse
3. Walk around on the beautiful island checking out the nature trail and historical monuments
4. Snorkel some more in the gulf where a manatee floated close by and check out neat shells
5. Ride back while kids got to feed the seagulls out of their hands and even mouths for --

a little over $200.00.

That, for a parent who needs to save money and plan wisely and carefully, is hard to beat.

Read the other reviews. Everything is very pretty, family friendly (my 6 year old snorkeled in 10 feet of water) and a simple delight. Some will say you can snorkel over prettier ruins. Sure. You can. Some will say the water is murky. It's the golf. Yes, it is. But take a little dive, as you would in a pool, and see the coral laden ruins teaming with all kinds of sea life. You'll enjoy. They don't skimp you, either. You get some very real time out there.

If you're leaning should I? Or shouldn't I. Say heck with it. Go. You won't regret it.

Visited July 2014
2 Thank Jesse B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Island Boat Adventures also viewed


Been to Island Boat Adventures? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing